In 1742, Alexander Wilson set up a type foundry in St Andrews, with a friend John Bain, when—after visiting a type foundry in London—they had the idea to make better typefaces. Two years later Wilson and Bain moved their type foundry to premises in Camlachie close to Glasgow, but in 1747 Bain moved to Dublin. Soon after this Bain quit the partnership leaving Wilson the sole owner of the type foundry.

The quality of the type produced by the foundry was outstanding, and the finest of all was a Greek type. The Foulis Press in Glasgow, run by the two brothers Robert and Andrew Foulis, used Wilson's type and produced some of the finest and most beautiful books which no other press could match. This creative relationship produced typography that earned the praise of their peers. The firm run by Wilson in partnership with his three sons continued to operate throughout his life, during which he published 'A Specimen of some of the Printing Types Cast in the Foundry of Alexander Wilson and Sons' in 1772 which provides a fine example of the capabilities of the firm. In fact Alexander Wilson and Sons continued to be a thriving business after the death of its founder and the headquarters moved from Glasgow to London in 1834, and has had a lasting impression on type designers and typefaces ever since.

Scotch Roman is a term which refers to class of typefaces popular in the 19th Century. Originating in the United States, it is derived from the term ' Scotch-face' , the name given to some types of the typefounder S. N. Dickinson in Boston first cast by Alexander Wilson & Son in Glasgow in 1839, with matrices imported from Scotland. These typefaces were extremely influential on many modern typefaces, including Caledonia, Georgia, and Escrow (commissioned by the Wall Street Journal).

And in order to fully acknowledge the work and legacy of Alexander Wilson, and his place in the history of Glasgow's East End, a typeface dedicated to the typefounder himself was acquired for use throughout the 'East End Transmissions' exhibition.

Foundry Wilson—designed by David Quay and Freda Sack, of The Foundry—is a lovingly drawn revival of a 1760 font from Scottish type founder Alexander Wilson. A fresh alternative to the contemporary Baskerville, with a taste of the incised letterforms of its time, Foundry Wilson is a robust and lively type design that displays a beautiful colour and texture on the page.

Jen Devonshire. October 2014

 


 

 

 

 

Mon texte multi-lignes
Jen Devonshire
Foundry Wilson